Over 50s are big users of contactless payment

Almost 12 million over 50s are actively using contactless payments with one in five tapping the plastic up to three times a week according to research by Saga Money.

The survey of almost 10,000 shows that half (50 per cent) of over 50s use their contactless cards when doing the weekly shop, whilst almost a third (29 per cent) like the convenience when grabbing a coffee and one in 10 (10 per cent) use contactless when picking up a newspaper.

The over 50s not only like saving time at supermarket checkouts they also like freeing up space in their pockets with a third (32 per cent) saying that they like not having to carry cash around with them. And with the modern-day burden of remembering a glut of passwords and PIN numbers a quarter (25 per cent) are happy with one less thing to memorise before heading to the shops.

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Contactless payments are also benefiting older people out on their travels as a quarter (25 per cent) are using the PIN-free option to get around on the underground, in taxis and when passing through road tolls.

Shopkeepers and businesses in London are seeing the most over 50s tap-to-pay with 44 per cent using their contactless card at least one a week followed closely by shoppers in the North East (42 per cent) and East Midlands (40 per cent). Those in Yorkshire are most likely to use their PIN with just 33 per cent opting to speed things up at the checkout over the course of a week.

However, despite quick payment popularity amongst the over 50s, not everyone is entirely comfortable with the ease at which their funds can be accessed.

Seven in 10 (70 per cent) admit to worrying about the security of contactless payments and almost half (48 per cent) say they believe the availability of contactless cards will cause an increase in pickpocketing.

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While contactless cards may be protected in the same way as normal debit and credit cards, if your card is lost or stolen you should contact the bank as soon as possible so your bank can block it straightaway.

Gloria Barker, head of Credit Cards at Saga Money, said: “The over 50s clearly value the convenience of contactless cards for making it easy and quick to pay for everything from groceries to tube tickets. And it’s obvious that not having to remember a PIN or carry cash has made contactless payments popular among older people.

“This is why we are pleased to announce that our credit card has now gone contactless, enabling our customers to benefit from the technology.”